A Text of Broken Texts
|Page DuBois, Sappho Is Burning
Under every river is the floor of the world,
and curling downstream a beautiful ribbon
printed with the story
of where water comes from and returns.
Under the sea is the mother of the world
and from her fiery body islands appear,
spangled dots above the waves,
and begin their march away
from their birth ground.
From cliffs and shores, Ive seen many islands,
sister and brother islands,
across a rocking plain of water.
Long sweeps of waves mark their beaches
like brush strokes, leaving a hint at the tide line
of a poem taken back into the body
of the sea time and time again.
Who speaks for anything? Who can hold
the paper or the brush long enough?
Is not everything we know a little island
set off from something larger,
a shoreline to walk while thinking,
Doesnt every story begin ankle-deep in the sea?
© 2009 Eloise Klein Healy.
Published in The Islands Project: Poems For Sappho, Red Hen Press,
Published here with the poet's express permission.